Menu

Retrospective Tells 'The Seinfeld Story'

Only Jerry Seinfeld (search) would begin a TV special by doing a standup routine making fun of the word "special."

If something's so special, (like, say, a TV show or the meatloaf special) then why in heck wouldn't it be offered all the time? Exactly.

And so begins "The 'Seinfeld' Story," (search) a special about the show that was pretty darned special almost all of the time.

It was so special in fact, that with the possible exception of the time Kramer brought the Japanese tourists home to sleep in the dresser drawers, it was almost always hilarious. (That episode, which aired after Larry David (search) left the show, was nearly a jump-the-shark episode because it marked the moment that the plot lines went from nothing happening to everything happening.)

But, like "The Honeymooners," "Seinfeld" episodes are so funny that generally you can watch each one 500 times and still laugh.

Really, how many shows can make you laugh out loud just by reading the plotlines, such as "Kramer gets chased by the fat cable guy," or "A hooker handcuffs George to a bed and steals his clothes when she discovers he's a deadbeat with only $8."

Since the DVD boxed set of "Seinfeld" seasons one through three was released Wednesday, NBC just happened to pick Thanksgiving night - the eve of Black Friday - to run the special and push the merch.

While "The 'Seinfeld' Story" is one of those specials where they round up the cast and crew for interviews, the good thing is that they don't really reminisce (think the "Dallas" reunion), and they don't sit on stools and talk to each other. What they do do, however, is show some of the best sketches, some even funnier out-takes, and talk about some behind-the-scenes maneuvers that only die-hard "Seinfeld" fanatics probably know.

For example, it's fun to hear NBC execs talk about how they really didn't get the show at first and how disastrous they found the pilot. In fact, after the pilot episode aired, the show was scratched by NBC, and then turned down by Fox.

The feedback, Seinfeld says, is that viewers found it "contemporary, humorous and appealing to young adults - not for us!"

One NBC suit, Rick Ludwin, believed in the show so much, however, that he traded two of his already programmed hours for four episodes of "Seinfeld" - the smallest number of episodes ever ordered by a network.

Larry David says he threw himself on the bed and cried when he found out that the show was picked up. No, he wasn't crying from happiness. He wept because he didn't want to come up with anymore episodes. He said there was nothing to write about! And so, that's exactly what they wrote about - for eight seasons.